YMCA Camp Onyahsa Covid Protocols

YMCA Camp Onyahsa Covid Protocols, Summer 2022. 

updated May 27, 2022


YMCA Camp Onyahsa places paramount value on ensuring safety, health, and happiness for all participants. It will therefore employ a multi-layered prevention plan to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. 

Admission Protocols

Resident Camp Participants (campers and staff)

1. A photo of the camper’s vaccination card, showing full vaccination (2 doses). Booster is optional, OR

2. A photo of a negative result of a Covid rapid antigen test taken within four hours of Camp arrival, OR

3. A successful rapid Antigen test result for Covid taken upon Camp arrival.


4. Asymptomatic condition. Any camper exhibiting symptoms will be guaranteed a full refund and preferred re-booking for a later session.

Day Camp Participants (campers and commuting staff)

1. Protocols will be the same as resident participants (#1-3), imposed on the first day of each session only. Symptomatic campers will not be admitted/will be sent home.

2. Campers exposed to Covid will be tested at Camp on Day 1 and 2 following exposure. 

3. Rapid tests will be provided, when available, to day campers attending successive sessions. 


1. Participants who become symptomatic will be tested at Camp.

2. Participants who test positive for Covid-19 will be quarantined in Camp. The downstairs bedroom of Sheldon will be used for participants awaiting a ride home. 

3. Parents will be notiied to remove the participant from Camp whenever feasible. If distance prevents the departure of the ill participant, they will be quarantined in the Bello Cabin until departure is possible or they test negative for Covid-19. (The cabin will thereafter be cleanred according to the protocols below). 

Everyday Operations


Onyahsa will enforce mandated vaccinations and highly encourage full vaccination and boosting for Covid-19 for all participants, staff, and camper ages 5 and over.  For younger youth, close monitoring for Covid symptoms will be employed. 

Staying Home When Sick

Campers who are symptomatic will not be admitted to the program, but they will be eligible for a full refund or preferred re-booking for another Camp session. Staff who are ill will not be allowed to work with others and will be quarantined in Camp or sent home until symptoms have fully abated.

Ventilation Systems

Screened windows will remain open in all buildings whenever possible. Box and large fans will be used inside of buildings to improve airflow when the buildings are occupied, and a steady natural flow of air is non-existent. 

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

Participants will be supplied with handwashing supplies and time prior to meals and will be highly encouraged to engage in this practice prior to dining and throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will also be used for all participants prior to meals.

The program will teach and reinforce covering coughs and sneezes to help keep individuals from getting and spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Camp staff will clean surfaces at least once a day to reduce the risk of germs spreading by touching surfaces. If the facility has had a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours, the space will be cleaned and disinfected. For more information.

COVID-19 Community Levels and Associated Prevention Strategies

The Camp will use the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels to help communities and individuals make decisions on what COVID-19 prevention strategies to use based on whether their community is classified as low, medium, or high.

These levels factor in a combination of COVID-19 hospitalization rates, healthcare burden, and COVID-19 cases. COVID-19 Community Levels treat schools and ECE programs the same as other settings in their community. Schools and ECE programs should follow guidance based on the COVID-19 Community Level of the community in which they are located.

Onyahsa’s administration will work with local health officials to consider other local conditions and factors when deciding to implement prevention strategies.


Masking will be optional and respected if employed by a participant by personal choice.


Diagnostic Testing

All non-vaccinated participants must present the negative results of a Covid-19 rapid antigen test taken within four hours of arrival to Camp. This may be conducted by displaying a photograph of the result or by testing negative on a rapid antigen OTC test upon arrival.  If supplies allow, rapid tests will be provided to day campers and to resident campers who go home for the weekend or a longer period, with the intent to return.

Test to Stay Programs

Campers who have been exposed to Covid may engage in a Test to Stay (TTS) program, by testing each day for three days to remain in the program.


Campers will engage in cohorting for most of the day and for all feasible indoor programs.

Case Investigation and Contact Tracing

Positive Covid results experienced in the Camp setting will be reported to the Chautauqua County Department of Health.


Children who test positive in the Camp setting will be quarantined and sent home, where feasible, at the earliest possible opportunity. When going home is not possible due to distance, the camper or staff will be quarantined within the Camp until symptoms have fully abated. The Bello Cabin will be used for this purpose.

Considerations for High-Risk Activities

Yelling and singing loudly will be highly discouraged while indoors or when participants are within six meters of each other outdoors.

Considerations for K-12 Residential Dorms and Overnight Child Care

Participants will sleep with six feet or more between each person’s head, screened windows will remain open whenever possible, and box fans will be employed through the night to increase airflow. 

Considerations for Prioritizing Strategies

Special, yet equitable, care will be given to participants with diabetes, chronic illnesses, or disabilities for which Covid outcomes have been shown to be more injurious than within the general population. 


Jon O’Brian,

Camp Director